[ in-vuhn-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
See synonyms for: inventoryinventoriedinventoriesinventorying on

noun,plural in·ven·to·ries.
  1. a complete listing of merchandise or stock on hand, work in progress, raw materials, finished goods on hand, etc., made each year by a business concern.

  2. the objects or items represented on such a list, as a merchant's stock of goods.

  1. the aggregate value of a stock of goods.

  2. raw material from the time of its receipt at an industrial plant for manufacturing purposes to the time it is sold.

  3. a detailed, often descriptive, list of articles, giving the code number, quantity, and value of each; catalog.

  4. a formal list of movables, as of a merchant's stock of goods.

  5. a formal list of the property of a person or estate.

  6. a tally of one's personality traits, aptitudes, skills, etc., for use in counseling and guidance.

  7. a catalog of natural resources, especially a count or estimate of wildlife and game in a particular area.

  8. the act of making a catalog or detailed listing.

verb (used with object),in·ven·to·ried, in·ven·to·ry·ing.
  1. to make an inventory of; enter in an inventory; catalog.

  2. to take stock of; evaluate: to inventory one's life and accomplishments.

  1. to summarize: to inventory the progress in chemistry.

  2. to keep an available supply of (merchandise); stock.

verb (used without object),in·ven·to·ried, in·ven·to·ry·ing.
  1. to have value as shown by an inventory: stock that inventories at two million dollars.

Origin of inventory

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English inventorie, from Medieval Latin inventōrium; see invent, -tory2

synonym study For inventory

5. See list1.

Other words for inventory

Other words from inventory

  • in·ven·to·ri·a·ble, adjective
  • in·ven·to·ri·al, adjective
  • in·ven·to·ri·al·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·in·ven·to·ried, adjective
  • pre·in·ven·to·ry, noun, plural pre·in·ven·to·ries. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use inventory in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for inventory


/ (ˈɪnvəntərɪ, -trɪ) /

  1. a detailed list of articles, goods, property, etc

  2. (often plural) accounting, mainly US

    • the amount or value of a firm's current assets that consist of raw materials, work in progress, and finished goods; stock

    • such assets individually

verb-tories, -torying or -toried
  1. (tr) to enter (items) in an inventory; make a list of

Origin of inventory

C16: from Medieval Latin inventōrium; see invent

Derived forms of inventory

  • inventoriable, adjective
  • inventorial, adjective
  • inventorially, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for inventory


An itemized list of a firm's goods that have not yet been sold.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.